♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Discuss: It never fails to amaze me that ALL the books
ever written are made up of just twenty six letters.
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
There is one thing that every single piece of written work in English (and similar root languages) share: the alphabet used to fashion the words contains only 26 letters. Each work is just a unique weaving of these letters. You can think of this as the book’s DNA! Then, also think of writers as weavers. There is no other book out there quite like another, much like a hand woven rug. Sure they’ll share familial traits (series), ethnic/cultural traits (genre), and world or common species traits (the presence of physical characteristics – paper books – or their idea -electronic books). However, the weaver will make tapestries unique not just to them, but unique among their works. A parent doesn’t produce exactly identical children, except on rare occasions.
Can you imagine working like this with any other medium? Yeah, it’s a lot like painting. Painting has variations on pigments, but generally works with just a handful in different substances like oil and acrylic. These pigments are mixed to create variant tones and ultimately a picture. Picture weaver?
Weaving these 26 letters together isn’t simple, nor is it something you just sort of trip into. I’ve put in a lot of effort (as well as financial investment) to update and improve my skills as a word-weaver. That deserves a lot of respect, often overlooked by outsiders, but also those within the craft. I can’t imagine someone looking at a tradesperson that has gone to school and worked years in their field as less than expert (without damn good reason). Yet, we still have folks looking at writers as if they don’t do something quite complicated or worthy of value. Our trade, in fact, affects every single endeavor of humankind. 26 very small letters reach into every aspect of life. This is why literacy matters so much. Think about this as you go through your day and encounter writing or something that relied on writing to happen.
Being a weaver is hard beyond the lack of recognition, however. As stated above, I mentioned that it takes training and practice to accomplish what we would label good writing. Whether someone decides to follow a more traditional and accredited path like higher education or studying through self discipline and trial and error, writing doesn’t come easily. Writers can make it look easy. Yet, the behind the scenes break down of what goes on would disrupt that notion very quickly for an outsider. Not to mention, if they sat down to do what we do, they’d quickly discover how difficult it is!
Stringing together a series of words isn’t the end of what writers do. Like the painter, we select the words with which we paint. Assessed for their value and impact, exactness and tone, each word selected is then threaded in. Then, someone comes in behind us and does it again, making suggestions that can disrupt the flow we believed we had achieved. Not all edits are correct, but most of them are. It’s jarring to think we took this lump of clay and wheeled it into a glamorous vase, but in actuality we just made a lumpy mug. Worse, we thought we’d made a fantastic rug, when we have a disheveled spider web coated in bits of leaves and other things that were blowing around our head at the time we put it all down.
Writing is solitary, too. Well, in most cases, you’ll agree. Day after day, we sit alone daydreaming and agonizing. Much time is dedicated to crafting. A lot of time. Weavings, after all, cannot be slapped together. They won’t hold. Dedicating yourself to this life will take you away from a lot of other things. It’s important to remember to not let it take too much time. You can’t get your child’s birthday back. Self-care is necessary, so if you can afford a vacation, take one. Please eat your dinner. You need to be well-fed to concentrate.
I admit, having 26 tiny letters to keep you company for weeks on end is my ideal way to spend my time. That said, even as an introvert, I do crave some human contact at intervals. My daughter, as well, needs me to care for her needs. Toddlers grow best with attention. The way I see it, this is self-care, too. Love and connection, life and exploration replenish our inspiration. There won’t be anything to weave, dear weaver, if you don’t have any ideas left.
Remember, the herculean energy and skill applied to a writing project is what it takes to weave 26 letters into words that present a coherent tale. Whether a writer wants to regard their work as art or not, it is still art because of this effort. Don’t sell yourself short. We weavers of words are a long celebrated lot. What we do is valuable, if not magical. 26 little letters that paint all these millions of stories from our collective heads.
Quick couple of questions, friends. Did I use every letter in this article? 26 letters can make a near infinite number of combinations. The average English speaker knows approximately 40,000 words. Click on one of the links below to continue the hop and find out what the other authors in the group have to say about this topic…
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Richard Dee says
That’s so true and I’ve never really thought of it like that before. As someone who just puts down what they see in their head, the finer details and mechanics often escape me. And I too have my editor to thank, for keeping me on the straight and narrow. Even though I sometimes have to remind myself that she’s on my side.
Captain Maiel says
They very much are on your side. They want us to succeed. 🙂
P.J. MacLayne says
I did a quick check for some of the least-used letters, and yes, I suspect you got all 26 letters in this post!
Captain Maiel says
I’m weird and love stuff like that! <3
Stevie Turner says
Yes, I’ve come to learn over the past 8 years just how difficult writing a novel is. It’s not as easy as it seems.
Leon Stevens says
“Did I use every letter in this article?” I’m going to say yes…